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Nuclear Medicine, India's Lonely Men, Fake Feet and a Fur Suit

Nuclear Medicine

Patients being treated with radioactive materials are triggering anti-terrorism devices in New York City subways and tunnels.

In a letter published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, physicians Christoph Buettner and Martin I. Surks say that a patient they treated with radioactive iodine for a thyroid condition was strip-searched twice in three weeks at a Manhattan subway station.  "Police had identified him as emitting radiation and had detained him for further questioning," write the physicians.  "He returned to the clinic and requested a letter stating that he had recently been treated with radioactive iodine."

The increased use of metal detectors in the wake of 9/11 has inconvenienced people with pacemakers and prosthetic limbs, notes Al Baker in The New York Times, but radiation detectors could spell bigger trouble for patients emitting gamma rays.  An explanatory letter from a doctor probably won't mean much to authorities demanding a strip search, says radiologist Fred Mettler.  "The question is, 'How does the poor patient convince the law enforcement authorities that they are truly patients and not terrorists?'"

 

Short Takes

He Listened to Wizards
David Lamb skewers "reclusive, eccentric" Burmese despot Ne Win in an unusually damning Los Angeles Times obituary.

Our True Machiavelli
Henry Kissinger's specialty is cover-up, charges documentary filmmaker Stephen Talbot; the writer remembers interviewing the aging diplomat, in an angry Salon essay(Access requires viewing an interminable ad.)

Fake Feet and a Fur Suit
Ray L. Wallace, who created the legendary Bigfoot as a hoax in 1958, has died, reports Bob Young in The Seattle Times

India's Desperate Bachelors
A gender imbalance in the Indian state of Haryana has left many men lonely, says John Lancaster in the Washington Post

Bad News For American Arteries
Burger wars have resulted in unusually low prices for fast food, reports Bruce Horovitz for USA Today.

I Prefer the Gas Station Fois Gras
Slurpee vendor 7-Eleven will soon offer sushi, salads and gourmet sandwiches, notes Melinda Fulmer in the Los Angeles Times.

Dangerously Near Norman Rockwell Territory
The new Broadway revival of "Our Town," starring Paul Newman, gets a mixed review from New York Times critic Ben Brantley.


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